Shame of a Nation: Rosko, Find Hungry Samurai

[Editor’s note: The point of this column is to focus on the iconic movies that we’ve somehow shamefully missed. In fact, that’s what inspired the name of this column, even though it’s not on his list, Bryan has never seen Howard Hawks original 1932 Scarface (aka Scarface: Shame of a Nation). Each one of our contributors has prepared a list of the top ten films they are most ashamed to have missed. Stay tuned as each of us reveals the awful truth about the classic films we’ve yet to see… Veritas vos liberabit.]

10. The Usual Suspects (1995) – Dir. Bryan Singer

Why I should have seen it: It came out at a time when I saw all the “indie” crime movies that were released. Starting with seeing Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs at a young age, I was hooked on this type of movie. It had a great cast and I tried my best to go see it or sneak a rental from my parents. Now, knowing Bryan Singer made it and knowing the cast involved there is no reason for missing this movie.

Why I haven’t seen it: There is no excuse. My folks and all my friends own it. It’s on TV all the time, talked about all the time and about how awesome it is, YET, I still haven’t actually gotten around to sitting my ass down and watching it. ALSO, the ending was spoiled to me a long time ago. And all I’ve heard is that this is like a Sixth Sense type of ending that really drives the movie home. I think that is a large part of why people like it so much. Sure, people say it’s still great, regardless. I wish I could do an Eternal Sunshine on my brain, forget everything I’ve heard about it, and watch it with a clear mind, knowing nothing.

9. The Wild Bunch (1969) – Dir. Sam Peckinpah

Why I should have seen it: From what I’ve heard, it’s one of the great, great westerns. Nate used to talk about it constantly and I should have seen it in my high school/early college days, but alas I missed this one. I’m way behind on my Sam Peckinpah.

Why I haven’t seen it: My roommates from college (Nate and Adam, really) used to watch this one all the time and gush about how awesome it is. Other friends would come over and would reference it/discuss/gush some more about certain scenes or details of it. Basically, I’ve heard from them it’s one of the most badass movies out there and especially one of the best westerns. I guess I always figured I’d walk in on them when they started the movie at the beginning but I never did. I just… missed it.

8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – Dir. George Roy Hill

Why I should have seen it: Because it is one of the ultimate great movies… from what I’ve heard… You really can’t talk to a baby boomer about awesome movies without them mentioning it as one of the best. Books on film say this is one of the all-time best popcorn movies, made masterpiece by the charisma of the lead actors, who are the two of the best presences to ever grace the screen. So… yeah… that’s why I should see it… that and my own father looks at me in disbelief when I say I haven’t seen it.

Why I haven’t seen it: Because I am obviously a fucking idiot… not watching a classic movie I will most likely love.

7. Midnight Cowboy (1969) – Dir. John Schlesinger

Why I should have seen it: It’s one of the New Hollywood classics, the first of its kind to get Best Picture. Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman at the top of their game, an X-rated movie with a lot of great things, so I hear, going for it.

Why I haven’t seen it: When you go through the Best Picture winners, or the AFI 100 lists and you tell yourself you’re gonna see ’em all, chances are this one isn’t at the top. It’s always in the discussion about great American movies, but this one’s legacy isn’t as potent as others these days. Not to undermine it or say it’s at the bottom of the list. But, if you haven’t seen this and The Godfather, I’d tell you to watch Godfather first, on the grounds it’s more iconic.

6. The Seven Samurai (1954)
– Dir. Akira Kurosawa

Why I should have seen it: I can’t believe Adam and Bryan let me write on their movie website about movies, good movies, and I haven’t seen The Seven-fucking-Samurai.

Why I haven’t seen it: NO EXCUSE… but I’m gonna find a field goal kicker and let him use my crotch for target practice after I confess I haven’t seen…

5. Dr. Strangelove (1964) – Dir. Stanley Kubrick

Why I should have seen it: Because I’d love it very much regardless of all the great accolades it’s received. It’s got so much going for it I know I’d enjoy.

Why I haven’t seen it: I’ve seen ’em all. I’ve seen every other movie Kubrick has done, which really isn’t a whole lot, compared to other classic directors… except for the documentaries, I’ve seen every feature EXCEPT Dr. Strangelove. RRRRRRAAAAAAaaaaaRRRRRRRR

4. Apocalypse Now (1979) – Dir. Francis Ford Coppola

Why I should have seen it: Regarded as Coppola’s best… other than the Godfathers. Crazy war movie with the best actors around, spanning many generations. We’ve all heard the stories about the bat-shit, bonkers, time they had making the movie. Shouldn’t I have seen just what they hell they came up with?

Why I haven’t seen it: Because it’s fucking long and I’m never in the mood for Coppola, Hopper, Brando and everyone else in it to depress the shit out of me. That and the fact that I borrowed it from my Dad, but he had the Redux, which I heard wasn’t as good. I’d like to see the original cut first.

3. 8 1/2 (1963) – Dir. Federico Fellini

Why I should have seen it: It’s said to be one of the best foreign films ever. Fellini in top form. I love La Dolce Vita. It’s on streaming Netflix. Rosko, the fuck?

Why I haven’t seen it: Life gets in the way; sometimes you just don’t have time for every movie. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SEVEN SAMURAI.

2. Singin’ In the Rain (1952) – Dir. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly

Why I should have seen it: One of the great old Hollywood musicals. Man, every time I see Gene Kelly singing the song… in the rain… I think it looks really cool. As a little kid I thought that was the whole movie. Guess I was wrong.

Why I haven’t seen it: The old Hollywood musical was never really my thing. Regardless, I should absolutely watch it. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, all greats! But… you know… Seven Samurai.

1. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) – Dir. Nicholas Ray

Why I should have seen it: James Dean’s resume is pretty short. Most, if not all, of his feature performances are stellar. It’s supposed to have a performance that spoke volumes about the generation Dean represented.

Why I haven’t seen it: I’ve seen half of it. I loved it. I just never got around to finishing it. Sorry….

….Seven Samurai.

8 responses to “Shame of a Nation: Rosko, Find Hungry Samurai

  1. I’m kinda weirded out by all this guilt you have about The Seven Samurai… it makes me feel like you’re guilty of something to do with a samurai… It’s not even my favorite Kurosawa. I’m a Rashomon man.

  2. It just looks so amazing. I’m so astonished that I haven’t seen it. Seen a bunch of other Kurosawa’s, but I keep missing this one. It’s on streaming Netflix, but I don’t want to watch it on the laptop. I can stream it on PS3 but it looks like a good bluray- rental- on a kick-ass tv- with the doors and windows closed- phone-off- good food and cold beer- kinda movie day.

  3. I’m with Adam, not a huge Seven Samurai guy, Rashomon FTW.

    But it sounds like Samurai should be your number one with all your guilt.

  4. Sorry fellas, didn’t realize these had to be in any type of order, they’re just my 10. I guess Seven Samurai would be my “#1”.

  5. Definitely, definitely should have been number 1

  6. I would be interested to see you make this list again in order after watching the ones you’ve missed and see which one you feel more ashamed of having waited so long for after the fact. It would be surprising to me if Seven Samurai was still #1. Particularly against Apocalypse Now and Dr. Strangelove.

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